Technological watch

Injection molders ranking gets bigger

Last week we published our top 100 North American injection molders. Another 470 firms are in this issue, marking part two of our annual ranking.

There are 579 total companies ranked with related sales of $36.8 billion, down from $37.3 billion last year. The decline is mostly the result of the effect of the pandemic on the automotive industry. However, some of the decrease can be attributed to the pass through of lower resin costs on commodity packaging.

Let's look at some averages for this week's group. The average sales per company was $16.6 million, down from $17 million last year. But it is noteworthy that our total numbers of employees, presses and plants were all up in 2020. The average per company of employees, presses and plants is 99, 28, and 1.5, respectively.

Acquisitions were still rolling during the pandemic year. A total of 14 are noted in this year's ranking, half of which involve private equity firms. Despite the pandemic, and perhaps because of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, we did not see more companies close their doors than we see in a typical year.

This is our biggest and most popular processor ranking, and we'd like to keep it growing. Thanks to the efforts of research intern Kelly Arndt, we've added 28 new companies this year.

The data for each listing is a challenge to compile when firms don't respond to our surveys.

Here is what Arndt, a graduate student majoring in biostatistics at Grand Valley State University, had to say about the project: "My first task as an intern at Plastics News, to collect data on new firms to be added to the listing, gave me a newfound admiration for the data collection process. I became the John Watson to Hollee's Sherlock Holmes of research, and I loved it!

"As a newbie statistician, it was exciting to experience the data collection stage of research since I am usually behind the scenes making graphs and data summaries. There were days where I would cold call to survey a company in the morning just to be hung up on by a sales representative, and by the afternoon I'd be receiving a completed survey from a CEO via email.

"I foraged Google for press releases, scavenged on LinkedIn for top officials and probed materials lists on company websites, still a company-completed survey was my dopamine rush. The data collection was a meticulous but highly rewarding process."

We have a very large database of molders, and it is even larger this year thanks to Arndt's efforts. She'll be doing the same with our other processor rankings over the next few months.

Publication date: 01/07/2021

Plastics News - packaging


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.